(Orange, Texas)

August 21, 2013

Pastor Luncheon provides details, builds community relations with district

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

WEST ORANGE — James Colbert is all about building relationships with the community and improving his school district at the same time.

Colbert, the superintendent of the West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District, has extended an invitation to attend the second annual Pastor Luncheon, which will be held at noon, Thursday, at the West Orange-Cove CISD Administration Building Board Room, 505 N. 15th St. in Orange. Pastors wanting to attend should contact the superintendent’s office at 409-882-5600 by noon, today to confirm attendance.

Colbert said the purpose of the Pastor Luncheon, an idea he began in 2012 during his first year as superintendent with the district, was meant to provide fellowship while discussing the progress of the campuses within the district.

“We, the district and the churches, serve the same people, which is the residents of the community,” Colbert said. “So the theory behind this luncheon was to collaborate with the church leaders and build a relationship with the school district.”

The district sends out invitations to the event through the mail and via e-mail to several dozen church leaders. In 2012, only 12 attended the first ever event.

“Many of the pastors have very busy schedules, but we have already received several confirmations on some who plan to attend,” he added. “This roundtable discussion will update them on the status of the district, and the new school year. We’ll talk about the accountability ratings which just came out, and we’ll have discussions on what kind of assistance we can offer one another.”

An idea which came to fruition from the 2012 Pastor Luncheon was the implementation of the Build Great Readers program at West Orange-Stark Elementary School.

“That’s a great program which has been very successful,” Colbert stated. “It’s a reading tutorial for our students and we have volunteers from the area churches come to school to read to our children. It’s just fantastic.”

Colbert hopes more pastors will attend the program this year and believes it will be beneficial for all involved.

“We’ll cover a lot of talking points during the meeting, and we’ll talk about some of the things we’ll hope to accomplish this year,” Colbert said. “But I love when they ask me questions. There’s nothing I like more than being able to talk about our students, the school district and how we can find ways to make it better.”